Tom Magazzu

Tom Magazzu - Editor

Regardless of what has been going on in America’s churches for several years, some still insist that church buildings are no places for guns. I can understand that position. Carrying a firearm in church does seem a little awkward. However, we live in very awkward times. The church is being assaulted from many sides. Christianity isn’t alone, it’s just the one that having to deal with publicly-sanctioned insults and ridicule along with threats to life and limb. However, what is the alternative to protection?

Christians are supposed to be docile, patient, and long-suffering. I’d say I know a few thousand who are not nearly as short-tempered as I am, and a handful of others who are. But neither group is stupid. God gave us brains to use. No one is denying Christ if they refuse to be a sacrificial lamb or if they choose to responsibly protect others who are innocent.

The shooter at West Freeway Church of Christ, Keith Thomas Kinnunen, found that out the hard way. Kinnunen had some mental issues, and he was not a stranger to law enforcement. He had been helped by this church family just outside of Fort Worth, Texas several times prior to December 29. Kinnunen came in disguised with a plan, so he may not have expected to walk out alive that day. However, he surely expected to be upright longer than two seconds after his first shot.

An amazingly-clear 48 second video posted at shows every detail before, after, and during the event. After one shot each at the 10 and 11 second point of the video, the gunman wheeled around gun raised toward the man leading the communion prayer. Church member and retired firearms instructor, Jack Wilson, 71, took him out at :12 with one shot to the head from about 50 feet away.

Well done.

It was apparent from Wilson’s comments in the days following that he regretted the incident as much as anyone. However, he knew he was very blessed to be the one in a position to save the lives of others.

Texas governor, Greg Abbott, signed a bill earlier in 2019 making it legal for licensed gun owners to carry in churches. That is commendable, but what business is that of government?

Concealed carry is a right already affirmed in Texas - as it is here in Alabama. That congregation is a private organization. The leadership (in this case, the elders) should be the ones who decide what is allowed in their building.

These situations are so isolated, that it’s easy to think, “That would never happen at OUR church.”

It’s a good thing the folks at West Freeway thought otherwise.